I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
Faith is not just believing that God can do something. That’s easy. That hardly takes any faith at all. It’s also easy to believe that God can use someone else. However, believing that God can use YOU is a whole different story. But that’s precisely the kind of faith God requires.
If you look through the pages of the Bible and down through the ages of history, you will see that God chooses to work with people. When He wants to say something or do something He always does it in partnership with a man or a woman or a nation. And if He can’t find someone to work with Him then the thing He desires does not get done.
I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before ME on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation… – Ezekiel 22:30
We see throughout the Bible that God always raised up a man or woman for His purposes. He found Moses, Joshua, the Judges, Ruth, David, the Prophets, Esther, the Apostles, Stephen, Philip, etc. He spoke through these people, worked miracles through them, and the world was changed and persevered because of them. Each one of these saints had to learn to put their faith in God–not just that God could do something, but that God could do it through them.
We see this so evidently through Moses. When God appeared to him in the burning bush, he thought it was wonderful that God had come to save his people. But as soon as God said, “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people out of Egypt,” he quickly objected! “Who am I that I should bring them out of Egypt?” Moses had to believe that God would not just deliver His people, but that God would do it through him.
And we also see David, who was just a young man when he approached Saul with his desire to face Goliath on the battlefield. Noticed that he didn’t say, “I believe God can defeat this giant.” Any of the soldiers on the battlefield that day would have said that. But David said, “I will fight with him.” Then he said, “I have killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them!” and “The Lord will deliver me.”
What tremendous faith! He didn’t just believe that God could do it, but that God would use him to do it. And as a result, we see that the giant fell and the people of Israel won a great victory.
We see the same kind of faith displayed in the New Testament. When Peter and John healed the lame man, they didn’t say, “God, we believe you can heal him in your good time, whether in this life or the next.” No, anyone can pray that faithless prayer. Instead, they said, “Such as I have, give I to you, in the name of Jesus, rise and walk!” And look at Paul’s faith when he says, “I know that I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.”
What confidence! What faith!
Such faith is not often found in the world today. Jesus even lamented that such faith would hardly be found when he returned:
“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:8
Can you believe that God can use you? If you can’t, you’ll never fulfill the plan that He has for your life. If you can’t, you’ll miss out on all the good things He has for you. If you can’t, you will be judged.
One of the more sobering stories in the Bible is the instance of the 12 spies that went to spy out the land of Canaan. God had brought the people of Israel out of Egypt with a might hand, with many signs and wonders. And not only did He bring them out of slavery, but He promised them a land of their own, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land with houses they did not build, wells they did not dig, and vineyards they did not plant. And God promised that He would be with them, to drive out the inhabitants of the land.
But the first generation did not enter that land. Why?
We see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. – Hebrews 3:19
What was their unbelief? Could they not believe that God would defeat their enemies? No, that’s not what they said. Look what they said, and what God called an ‘evil heart of unbelief:’
“We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” – Numbers 13:31
They failed to believe that God could use them. They didn’t believe that they could do it.
But look in contrast what Caleb said:
“Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it!” – Numbers 13:30
But Caleb was in the strong minority. Only he and Joshua believed that God could use them to drive out the Canaanites. The rest of the Israelites sided with the 10 spies who said, “We can’t do it.” What was the result? The 10 spies died quickly in a plague and the rest of the people were forced to trek through the desert for 40 years until every last one of them over the age of 20 was dead.
Only then, when the older generation had passed away, did the aged Caleb and Joshua enter the land.
The Bible says that we ought not to follow their pattern of unbelief.
Has God told you to do something? Have you not done it because you have failed to believe that God could use you? Don’t persist with such an evil heart of unbelief! God has forgiven your sin, He has given you His Holy Spirit; don’t insult Him by saying, “I am not able!” Of course, you are not able in your own strength. However, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
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